Wisconsin takes impaired driving seriously and the criminal penalties only go up when impaired drivers stack up multiple OWI offenses, have elevated BAC (Blood Alcohol Content), lack the necessary credentials or insurance, or have children in the car when driving drunk.
Last week, a woman was arrested for Wisconsin OWI first offense with a child younger than 16 in the car. According to news reports, a state trooper spotted the car dragging an orange construction barrel down the road moments before it struck a light pole. When the officer pulled the vehicle over, he discovered what appeared to be a passed out driver and a 4-year-old child in the car.
Typically a first offense OWI in Wisconsin is charged as a misdemeanor resulting in the suspension of a driver’s license for a period of six to nine months, a fine ranging from $150 to $300, mandatory alcohol and other drug assessment, and perhaps the installation of an IID depending on the BAC.
However, when a first offense Wisconsin OWI involves having children in the car, the consequences increase dramatically. First offense Wisconsin OWI with a child under the age of 16 may result in a fine of up to $1,100, time in jail, license revocation up to 18 months, in addition to an IID (Ignition Interlock Device) requirement and alcohol and drug assessment.
- A person convicted of driving while impaired while carrying a minor passenger younger than age 16 at the time of the violation commits a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than $350 nor more than $1,100 and imprisoned for not less than five days nor more than six months. Wis. Stat. §346.65 (2) (f) 1.
- Child Endangerment: For non-injury or injury without great bodily harm drunk-driving offenses, the maximum and minimum imprisonment, forfeiture and fine sanctions are doubled. Wis. Stat. §346.65(2) (f) and (3)
- Child Endangerment/Unborn Child: If the driver was transporting a person younger than age 16 or an unborn child, the maximum imprisonment and fine sanctions are doubled and the license revocation period is 10 years. Wis. Stat. §§343.31(3) (c) and 94.09(1b)
Charged With OWI with Child Under 16?
Contact An Experienced Wisconsin OWI Child Endangerment Lawyer For Help
Whether it is Wisconsin OWI first or OWI subsequent offense, with aggravated factors such as having minors under sixteen in the car, driving without a license or insurance, or injuring another party, it is a serious offense and should prompt those facing charges to seek the help of an experienced Wisconsin OWI criminal defense lawyer. If you or a family member needs legal assistance, contact our Waukesha, Wisconsin OWI lawyers at the Law Offices of Andrew C. Ladd LLC for help.